The City Council today will receive an update on the De La Guerra Plaza Revitalization Project, and will be asked to authorize Public Works Director Clifford M. Maurer to execute an agreement to pay $865,088 to RRM Design Group for continued architectural and design services.
The council also will be asked to amend an agreement with Ann Kale Associates in the amount of $65,599 for lighting design for the revitalization project.
The RRM Design Group is the project architect currently working on the concept design. The recommended agreement with them includes a scope of work for the remainder of the design services. Ann Kale Associates will work with the RRM Design Group and the Historic Landmarks Commission to complete the lighting plan.
The DLG Plaza Project formally commenced in January 2019, and is funded from Measure C.
“There are sufficient expenditure appropriations in the DLG Plaza Project in the Fiscal Year 2023 Measure C Capital Fund Budget to cover the work that staff plans to authorize in Fiscal Year 2023 from the proposed contract with RRM Design Group and proposed contract amendment with Ann Kale Associates,” staff said.
Staff plans to request additional expenditure appropriations during the annual budget process to cover RRM work that will occur in future fiscal years.
Staff developed conceptual plans to revitalize the De La Guerra Plaza (DLG Plaza) in 2011. This was placed on hold following the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency in 2012. On January 15, 2019, council directed staff to resume work on the De La Guerra Plaza Revitalization Project (DLG Plaza Project).
On March 5, 2019, an initial contract was awarded to the RRM Design Group (RRM) to launch the DLG Plaza Project’s public outreach process.
“Staff unanimously selected RRM as the best firm to assist with public outreach and conceptual design, based on RRM’s strong statement of qualifications, team interview, and successful past plaza redevelopment experience.”
The De La Guerra Plaza Revitalization Project Advisory Committee (Plaza Advisory Committee) formed in late 2019 to guide the concept plan. They held their first meeting on November 8, 2019. The process was long and thorough, with the 14th meeting held on June 3, 2022.
“The framework for the concept plan is finished, and the Plaza Advisory Committee is no longer meeting,” staff said. “Therefore, staff anticipate this proposed contract will carry RRM through the end of construction.”
This final scope of work includes final design development, construction documents, permitting, and construction administration to handle requests for information and clarification from the contractor.
During Phase 2b, Ann Kale Associates was brought on to create concept lighting plans. They will continue to work with RRM and city staff to create lighting design concepts based on the nearly completed plan.
The DLG Plaza Project is composed of five separate elements: architecture, landscape, public art, archaeology and utility coordination.
At this point in the DLG Plaza Project, it is too soon to forecast estimated construction start or completion dates, staff said.
Currently, the design is still in the concept phase, primarily due to two unrefined areas: the area between City Hall and Santa Barbara News-Press building, and the landscaping in front of City Hall on the Anacapa Street side. Once these areas are further developed, the formal planning application will be submitted to the Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) to commence the city’s review process.
The DLG Plaza Project has proceeded through the Pre-Application Review Team process, and the majority of issues and concerns raised have been addressed, staff said. One of these issues is defining the DLG Plaza Project site. The DLG Plaza Project Site will not include the City Hall parking lot.
Multiple concepts for the proposed structure design between City Hall and the News-Press Building were developed over a series of meetings with the Plaza Advisory Committee and the design team.
However, they did not reach consensus on any of the designs, and determined the building design would be better developed by working with an Ad Hoc Committee composed of the design team and two members of the HLC. This Ad Hoc Committee has met three times, and the new building concept is nearly complete.
In other business, the council’s consent calendar includes approving zoning ordinance amendments for accessory dwelling units, approving a construction and operating agreement and reciprocal easements for Chase Palm Park and the future waterfront hotel at Cabrillo Boulevard and Calle Cesar Chavez, and approving a five-year Measure A local program for projects for fiscal years 2024-28 public hearing.